There's no harm in doing the odd snoop through tinder and other dating apps alike when you're bored and in of company... is there?
If this is you, you might want to have your wits about you when you're next swiping as crimes involving dating apps have doubled in four years. A BBC 5 live investigation took data from 23 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
They found that the number of crimes reported on the apps has risen from 329 in 2015 to 658 in 2018 and 286 of these crimes were sexual in nature, which is a significant increase from 156 in 2015. On BBC 5 Live Investigates "The dangers of online dating" there's also an interview with Debbie Smith, whose daughter was tragically murdered by a man she met on a dating app. She said she wished all users of online dating apps would undergo criminal checks. However, experts have confirmed it's not that simple. George Kidd, chief executive of the online dating association, told the BBC that it's not realistic to do criminal record checks on every app user. He added "A third of relationships start this way and 10 million people use them in the UK. It's part of our social fabric".
Dating apps can be fun, but they do come with their dangers. Get Safe Online says: Even if you feel you have become closer to someone via email. and phone, you should still remember that this person is largely a stranger to you.
Here are what you should be aware of when you're in the midst of swiping right...
- Taking your time yo get to know someone - and never feel pressured to meet somebody before you're ready
- Reporting any unacceptable or suspicious profiles
- If you think their profile is a bit odd should probably stop talking to them
- Never respond to a request for money - and never give out your bank details
- Always meet in a public place
- And leave if the date isn't going well or you feel uncomfortable, you can discreetly ask for help by going to the bar and 'Ask for Angela' - a phrase aimed at alerting bar staff to the cry for help so they can help defuse the situation (UK ONLY).
- Have a close trusted friend to have watch your location using an app like Find my Friends or Life360 and keep them informed with your expected whereabouts.